Stan the head of A&R at Sony (known for his non sequiturs) threw his arm around the producer “are we going to go bowling one of these days or what? And have you ever tasted my wife’s pickles?” The famous producer shrugged and squirmed and gave the hairy eyeball to the engineer-who-owed-everything-to-being-a-gopher-for-the-famous-producer who understood immediately. He rushed over and asked Stan about his shoe size or favourite smoothie, whatever he could dream up to distract Stan and allow the famous producer to escape that corner of the party. As it turned out Stan in fact had a favourite smoothie; tahini, maple syrup and celery juice and engineer-who-owed-everything-to-being-a-gopher-for-the-famous-producer was also into juicing. The two bonded and had a long conversation about different combinations. He decided to seize the moment and asked Stan if he might listen to an artist he himself was producing.
“If you’re producing and if you believe in this artist then get your friend over there, the one you work for, to also produce a track or two… so we can connect the dots if you know what I mean, marketing pal, marketing… you get my drift or am I a tornado doing the tango with a leaf?”
Some people get to where they are climbing over the bodies of others and so it was the way of the famous producer. As soon as he understood the engineer was trying to expand his career he stopped calling him. He didn’t get to where he was from being nice and wasn’t about to start now, the less competition the better. The young engineer took Stan’s advice and made a request from the famous producer to participate in a small way. Now he was hurt and confused by two weeks of unreturned emails and unanswered phone calls, he understood. This was one of those things they can’t teach at engineering school, the way of the asshole. It should be a band name he mused. Many people, men more often than not, think it’s all game strategies. If one believes it’s all a game then it isn’t really painful to cut someone off. From one view it’s intelligent, increases your odds of winning, if isolating yourself from any deeper relationships is winning.